Objects in the mirror…

Every road trip that Mr.A and I brings so many transient moments like this one captured in the side view mirror of our car, when we feel we own the road, the landscape, the world! And they make me wish if only I could hit a pause button and hold on to this feeling a little longer. But as they say, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, so are those memories held closer in our minds than we know, and they come back to us at inadvertent occasions to surprise us and bring a smile on our lips…

In response to the weekly prompt “Transient” on The Daily Post.

There’s more of the weekly photo challenges on Sunny District, hope you enjoy them, too!

Weekly Photo Challenge : Order

Mr.A & I are not big collectors of souvenirs, except for that one customary fridge magnet that marks every country that we have visited. However, there was one memento that I always wanted to buy whenever I got to Russia – the Matryoshka or Babushka, aka Russian nesting dolls. You see, travelling though eastern Europe, you’ll find these everywhere, but that’s not their true origin, is it? What’s the fun in buying a tiny Eiffel-Tower-keychain anywhere else than Paris, right? So I told myself I would get a set of dolls when I actually made it to the right place. And so I finally got mine in St.Petersburg. For all I know, it is highly possible that the wood, paint & craftsmen were not Russian at all! Nonetheless, I felt quite happy for having found an ‘authentic’ piece. Yes, sometimes I’m silly like that. Never mind me, look at these cute dolls arranged in the order of their heights. Of course, there was lots to choose from but I stuck to the classic style. But it was fun to observe that apart from ladies with fancier dresses, they even had some very creative version featuring cats, dogs, Harry Potter, Trump & Putin!

Sunny District has so many more entries to the Weekly Photo Challenge, I hope you like what you find!

Postcards from St.Petersburg!

St.Petersburg is surely a big item off my travel checklist. Russia always felt like this enigmatic land far out of my reach… but now Mr.A & I’ve been there at least once! I’ll tell you all about how we traveled visa-free to St.Petersburg. But first, some snapshots to ring in the prelude 😉

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Foodie tips, Gothenburg

Last September, Mr.A and I took a leisurely three-hour train ride to pop into Sweden‘s second biggest city, Gothenburg. It’s a lively, vibrant city with a great food scene. Here’s what we enjoyed…

# Breakfast at Scandic No. 25

We stayed two nights at the Scandic No. 25 during our stay and very much enjoyed their scrumptious breakfast which was included in the room tariff. The spread is impressive, hearty muesli, dainty sandwiches, flaky croissants, fluffy pancakes, it’s all in there. The lobby and dining area are pleasant to lounge around in. There is fika of tea, coffee, cakes & biscuits all day, too.

# Lunch at Feskekôrka

Feskekôrka translates to Fish Church, an indoor marketplace for seafood. We had an excellent lunch sharing a plate of grilled fish, a fish pasta in hot sauce & a delicious fish soup at the restaurant housed within the building. Seating is available both indoors & outdoors by the water. Although there is all kinds of raw fish being sold in the same premises, surprisingly there is no unpleasant fishy smell at all. The structure is unique in itself, standing there since the late 1800’s. Gothenburg’s fish harbour used to be across the canal – the men would bring in fish & women would sell the wares right where the fish church is. The building was built to give the fish sellers a place to sell fish during the colder winter months. It was very nice to be able to visit and eat at a place of historical interest. Plus the food and service were simply great.

# Fika at Cafe Husaren

By evening we wandered into Haga Nygata in Gamla Haga, the oldish part of town. The street itself has a quaint old town feel & Cafe Husaren complements that perfectly. The decor takes you back in time with those chandeliers hanging off a tiled ceiling and the beautiful tiles on the ceiling. The coffee is great, there is a splendid array of savoury pies, delectable cakes, and the unforgettable “queen of the kitchen” – a giant kannelbullar or the traditional Swedish cinnamon bun. Of course, if you can’t finish it, you can ask for a bag to take it with you 🙂 If I were living in Gothenburg, I’d be going there all the time!

Hope you enjoy the post! Have a great weekend!!

Things I love, Salzburg

During the long Easter weekend this year, Mr.A and I took off to Austria’s most popular destinations, Vienna & Salzburg. Remember I told you about those innumerable Easter eggs in Vienna? It was on the same trip, that we also dropped by Salzburg. I instantly fell in love with this city, spending our time walking around its diminutive Old Town, relaxed and care-free. Some things of course, stood out a little more than others…

# Love locks across the Salzach

Among the very first things one notices as they cross the river Salzach into the Old Town, is the Makartsteg bridge, almost every inch of which is covered in love locks. Perhaps it was intentional, but somehow the majority of the locks turned out to be red, giving it an utterly synchronous look. It’s impossible not to click a hundred pics, it’s so damn cute!

# Street signs on Getreidegasse

It’s hard to miss the ornate guild signs that announce the stores along Getreidegasse, the main street in the Old Town. Everything is available here, from food to fashion to trinkets to souvenirs, each shop bearing proof of its trade in the form of wrought iron signs. The beginning of this tradition was in the middle ages, but today even the McDonalds outlets and Zara boutiques on this street have their own medieval emblems. Incidentally, this street also boasts of Mozart’s childhood home where the artist first revealed his prodigy. How fascinating!

# Mozart’s church a.k.a. Salzburg Cathedral

Going by the number of spires and domes, one can easily guess that the city, especially the Old Town has an abundance of churches. I was obviously impressed by them, but I was particularly taken by the Salzburg Cathedral which is intricately painted ceiling in earthy tones against a white backdrop. Here Mozart played at Sunday service for two years. There are four strategically placed organs that transform the church into a concert hall. Sunday service is open to everyone to enjoy some brilliant music. From the outside, too, the cathedral is quite imposing and beautiful. The main facade opens into the spacious Cathedral Square, the centrepiece of which is a serene statue of Virgin Mary. Though damaged by a bomb during WWII, the reconstruction stands grander than ever.

# St. Peter’s cemetery

St. Peter’s cemetery and monastery opens up to visitors through a modest passageway, but as soon as I entered, it felt as though I were in a Secret Garden world. The cemetery is a cluster of tombs surrounded by pretty flower patches. It is overlooked by the cliffs of the Mönchsberg upon which looms the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Burial space in Austria is rented out, not sold, hence several headstones have ended up on the walls when the rented ceased to be paid.  A walk around this serene resting place for bygone souls can be a moving experience.

# Views from the Hohensalzburg Fortress

A short funicular ride up the Mönchsberg will bring you to the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The ticket includes the funicular ride and entry to a couple of museums housed within the fortress and allows you to walk around the fortress at your own pace. The best part for me though, were the wide views offered at the top of the watch tower. We could enjoy a 360 degree look at the rolling landscape around us. It was a rainy day, every green thing appeared extra lush and vibrant! A couple of other vantage points along the fortress wall also dole out grand sights far & wide, over the spires and rooftops through the city, all the way across the river and as far as the mountains in the distance. So, so very beautiful…

Have you been to Salzburg? What did you love best?